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where the tails wag
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Discussion Starter #2
Brady is off restriction and Paul took both him and Towhee on an extended hike since it is relatively dry (YAY!!) -- problem being they came back horribly filthy and our outside hose broke ... so they are crated until the gook & dirt dry off and can be brushed out.


But Finch discovered the wonders of Whipped Cream in a can on the very low teeter :) Aedan refreshed his memory on the big teeter and was working quite nicely at banging that teeter on demand -- at that point I had Faelan, Finch & him all out hoping to decrease that pivot point crouch to drive him down the plank; it helped a bit so we'll keep trying -- I simply really really hate seeing that crouch :)


Faelan had a good time with the teeter and at one point the whipped cream went flying from the board getting all 3 dogs' ears & heads covered LOL


My agility instructor of old is restarting an 8pm class for beginners in the near future if she gets enough interest -- the only classes I can make with work & commuting tend to be either weekends or 8pm.


Yesterday Towhee & Finch went up to a clinic to get their TBD/HW tests -- my charge card needs a serious vacation from dog expenses (this past year has seen Faelan, Towhee and Brady all having 8-10 thousand $ bills) so a clinic it was to save several hundred dollars :) It took long enough that I was unable to make classes, or a puppy party but so life goes, right?


I am listening to 'Do It Scared' while driving and it re-iterates the importance of picking a goal and focusing on it. Well I am honestly not good at only 1 goal, but I thought HEY, I can aim for perfect fronts!! for obedience :) So that will be a focus or stretch goal; my dogs often do have perfect fronts or at least do not lose points for them, but that is not truly a consistent thing so ... fronts in a structured plan with games and plenty of fun sounds doable, along with fitness and some teeter work seems like good focus points since the yard is usable again.
 

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where the tails wag
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Discussion Starter #3
Jun 3

This morning was some obedience work inside with a twist. I had Aedan in the hallway crate while working heeling and then signals with the older dogs -- me in the LR behind the crate and the working dog in the DR about 40 feet in front of the crate -- except Brady's signal recall because of Aedan & Brady's occasional spats.



All dogs had multiple 360s during heeling, long slows, long fasts, fast from halts, slows from halts etc. Aedan had the same setup for signals as th eolder dogs but without a dog in the crate.



Finch had trouble with the 360, 360, 360 repeats as I kind of expected. She also had recalls, stands and downs.


Tonight I set up 2 agility jumps about 20 feet apart and worked on bod language wraps --- from the right, left, using front and rear crosses without my usual 'wrap it' cue -- it worked even for Finch who has very limited 2 jumps LOL -- she had some confusion when she was on my right so she definitely needs more right sided work. It was fun.


A pic of this morning's setup- not sure if the whole setup shows clearly but ....
 

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where the tails wag
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Discussion Starter #4
June 5

In our backyard these adorable wild flowers grow in the spring to early summer. The are like little daisies :) anyway these areas are not mowed until the flowers die back.

So, this morning the older dogs had signals, Aedan had signals & command discrimination & Finch had heeling, stands and downs in these areas.

Faelan rocked it! The others did not..either trying to ignore the scents and waving grass or enjoying the scents these things was challenging for them :)
 

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where the tails wag
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Discussion Starter #5
YAY :)


Received Hips & Elbows for Aedan


Hips EXCELLENT
Elbows NORMAL


Woot Woot!
 

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where the tails wag
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Discussion Starter #6
Grins, now to teach the dogs what these agility hoops are :)


I received these yesterday and assembled them today. The thought being I can train the handling moves separate from being concerned about the bars or slowing down the dogs ....


Of course, knowing how my dogs are when moving out, I may well need to stake these down when actually training with them
 

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where the tails wag
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Discussion Starter #7
I have been back to doing Ob-ility type games with the dogs :)



Of course Finch does not yet know a lot of the completed things (poles, dog walk, fly, boop etc) but as time allows she is being introduced to some aspects.


I am hopeful that there will be some time this weekend to sit down and plan for my goal of perfect fronts -- the precursor games etc Some are in place, some need to be introduced yet. Finch is the girl not introduced to most props & games, but she has nice fronts for the most part and her finishes are coming along.


Aedan needs more rear end awareness work since he can flair on about turns and is frequently out for sits.


Brady is recovering well and has started lower jumping.


Towhee is going deaf I think -- so I need to consider if she is retired since she is ,umm, excitable and the pressure of focusing on me while she needs to see what's going on around her may be too much for her --


Faelan is just wonderful!
 

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Maegan
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Been absent for awhile, but baby puppy Eevee passed STAR Puppy class a few weeks ago and just started CGC class this week at 16 weeks old. I think she is going to be a ton of fun to train. She OFFERS eye contact without prompting, which I absolutely love and has an incredible attention span for such a young puppy. And she's smart as a whip.

My Rocket dog has been on break for awhile with occasional one on one sessions to just brush up and make things fun for him again. I'd like to go to Rally Bootcamp at Sunnyside with him, but I don't know if that is going to work out or not.
 

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where the tails wag
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Discussion Starter #9
This morning I took Faelan & Brady for a hike and then


Towhee had Utility
Aedan had Open
Finch had Rally (Advanced)


They all did well, Towhee nailed almost everything, she missed her final jump.


Aedan did well altho the DB pickup oopsie reared its head on the ROHJ so we played some. I am introducing the TNT new training video games to him and he did well with those incorporated while moving between exercises and setups (and a few boops while heeling)



Finch did pretty well -- since she doesn't know a lot of the signs she was ultra serious; a girlie next to her started spattering blood all over (seriously -- the owner said she was coming out of season -- don't think so, it was bright red and if she should be coming out she should probably be heading to the vet to make sure everything is all right!) so the class was on hold several times while clean up was done -- apparently owner had no panties either! same owner 'spoke' to me about the games I was playing with Finch -- hello keep your dog focused on you and not what I am doing! No wonder her dogs always zoom out of control if owner feels everyone should be stiff as a board -- sorry (not sorry) but I feel the owner should have taken the opportunity to engage with with her dog rather than just sitting there telling me not to play with my Finchie LOL She certainly has no qualms about yelling, rushing in and harshly correcting her dogs when other dogs might get upset!
 

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Maegan
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Second CGC class for Eevee last night went really well! The instructor caught me accidentally rewarding crooked sits. Oops!! But that's one thing I love about group classes, I can't always tell when my puppy is sitting crooked because I'm trying not to spend the whole night with my neck craned to the side.

We start every class with attention games, and I get such amazing attention from her - even when she's been distracted by another dog, her attention snaps right back when I say her name. This is probably a "DUH!" moment, but I think I'm going to start doing that with Rocket too. He seems to think he's above the rules sometimes.

Anyway, Eevee is making really great progress on all of her drills: sit-stand-down, stay (any position), heeling with automatic sits, fronts, spins, backing up, etc. We are going to be hitting the stand-stay really hard since she will doing conformation. She's so quick to pick up on everything that I'm struggling with not moving too fast and messing things up.
 

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where the tails wag
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Discussion Starter #11
Wow, several days since I posted :)

I have been concentrating a bit on obedience with some agility & rally thrown in.

Scent articles yesterday for Faelan, Towhee, Brady & Aedan. Bad owner! I left both metal & leather out for Aedan and he is just not ready for that! The others did really nice and they had a few different surfaces on their path to the pile, their articles were on a scatter rug with a few tug toys they had just been playing with and tight spaces to go through.

Finch had heeling, fronts, recalls (OMG she is cute!) And drops.

I would have to check my notes for the previous days LOL

The rain though! Seriously love that I live on high ground lately.
 

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where the tails wag
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Discussion Starter #12
Grins, a humid & drizzly morning. Do I train outside? Yep.

Finch does not like downing on wet grass -- no surprise so we worked through it. Her heeling was very pretty with only 1 glance away -- wet grass is an ultimate distraction LOL a quick reset had her back to her prancey self

Faelan, Aedan & Towhee all did great with their heeling & signals.

Brady was also reluctant to down in the wetness -- okay he might kind of have the excuse of his still healing up belly but we worked through it.


Heeling included a few games like spins, around mes while heeling, through the legs and high boops but for the most part was kind of low key since it really is kind of a lower key morning. At least we beat the rain (it is now pouring again!)

No jumping or fast activity for the safety of the dogs in the wet grass of course
 

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where the tails wag
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Discussion Starter #13
This morning was drop in classes :)


I started with Brady -- but wait!! -- there was the agility instructor I have been trying to contact about the possibility of starting Aedan & Finch in -- it is close and her emphasis is more on handling than obstacles :) So we chatted and I was late for the class.


While others were having their run thru style class I worked with Brady getting him warmed up and more focused. A very loud handler was doing her run thru and Brady had concerns so it was good to play some games with him. (example; GSD starts zooming and handler starts screaming. Or GSD refuses the jump and there is hooting & hollering & banging of jump going on). Then Brady had his turn and sure enough he missed a few signals (handler was outside ring doing something that was clinking & clanging) so good distractions and with things I am trying to get Brady acclimated to. Utility can be a challenge :)


Then Towhee had her turn with little warmup -- from the Xterra to the ring basically and lil missy did a great job :) Although she so wanted to go say hi to the instructor judge she really did nice -- one bad about turn ( I reset and repeated since Towhee is capable of very nice work) but her signals -- NICE. Her articles --> very nice! He glove #3 -- perfect!! Go Outs & jumps perfect! Her MSFE -- HA lil missy slowed down a bit at the 12 foot mark so we heeled to the wall, turned around, heeled the length of the ring and then after another about turn we did the MSFE -- she locked into position perfectly! Overall I am thinking some shows in the Oct time frame might be a fit -- before she next goes into season, Let's hope she doesn't have any more medical emergencies after I send in the entries :)


Finchie needs heeling work mostly so she had Rally (Advanced) class. She is such a serious lil one when there are dogs around and work to do LOL Anyway, the agility instructor got to do her initial evaluation of how she would set up some sessions for Ms Finchie (Aedan was not with me); the instructor also works with and admires my other agility instructor -- I made sure she knew I also work with Pam. Anyway, Finch did really well until.... the distraction figure 8 LOL oops, I need to work on this for sure but it drove home the point that Finch has not had this in quite awhile -- since before her puppies actually. But she did well otherwise -- off lead with all the other dogs around -- probably about a dozen in a 1 ring building so a nice setup.


Aedan & Faelan were loaded up for brief sessions during errands -- the pharmacy, the UPS store (nice people there -- I've never been) and I briefly checked in to the Southington PF -- looks like they are closed for renovations but Aedan & Faelan got to do some heeling & signals on the sidewalk with a lot of worker activity. I will need to check out the PF again once its open, looks like a great place for distraction training and it may be less busy inside than the Waterbury gym is during peak hours


Then the grocery store for more brief heeling after being in the Xterra.


Tomorrow I have run Thrus for Towhee (Utility) and Aedan (Open) up at Tails. Looks like there will be a lot of dogs so great exposure for them both plus of course a lot of friends will also be there. Often these run thrus not only have a lot of friends, but the dogs get to see a lot of their Sunfire family members as well! It is always interesting if Mike & Barb are around when Towhee is in the ring! She really really really wants to say hi to them especially :) Maybe some of Towhee's kids will be there !! The family portraits are always fun!
 

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where the tails wag
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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Interesting run thrus.


Both Aedan & Towhee had moments of brilliance but ..


Aedan was unsettled. He had made eye contact with a beautiful golden but that seemed to set him a bit on edge so it was a 'relax buddy no issues' type of run thru. His heeling & figure 8 were pretty good, his BJ was wonderful, he failed the Sit portion at full distance of the command discrimination (twice), his DOR was great, I went all out training mode for both retrieves with fun & games, he had a very minor foot movement as I was returning to heel for the stand/get your leash, doubt if it would have been scorable in the A class. But he was responsive to various games while in the ring like spins, I'm gonna get you, high nose bops. His setups were okay but several of his finishes were off by full pointers -- he will often do this type of finish when he is a little nervous. I may need to take a few Fridays off and head several hours to run throughs to help him. No actual fronts were asked during retrieves since I am rebuilding those exercises


Towhee had really nice heeling, signals, go outs -- the first actually had a nice recovery after a shiny object caught her eye, she missed one jump but did the other, her metal article was apparently overly scented to her mind so that was an issue, her leather was a great one, her MSFE was wonderful -- her fronts & finishes were good. She did so want to visit the judge LOL but overall I would say she is definitely getting there :)
 

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where the tails wag
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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
LOL -- the good the bad and the ugly with Aedan -- and now I have a better feel for what he was reacting to -- the groaning, possibly growly sound effects?? Plus the 'scary' dog in the next ring. He also definitely needs a lot of work with pressure but overall he has some nice moments and since he is so inexperienced , I am confident he'll put it all together :)


I kept the leash on for heeling since the dog in the next ring was unnerving him for whatever reason. And I need to tighten up my handling as he becomes more comfortable in a ring environment but for now my job is to build his confidence -- even if he wants to exit stage left to avoid being near a particular dog.


Bad bad handler turning to see his sits!



The face shots of the beautiful girl are of a Towhee granddaughter :)





https://youtu.be/R4K4SDfAplo
 

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where the tails wag
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
And Towhee -- my friend was in the next ring during Towhee's signals but she did do a nice job on them -- shiny objects on the floor also need to be proofed but I think, barring any more medical issues, she may just be ready for the ring in a few months



And if the person who thinks dogs who don't do the Clysedale thing while heeling are like watching paint dry and their owners obviously don't have a clue about training, I'd suggest you go paint a fence rather than watch my girlie.



This girlie was hit badly & thrown by a car about a year ago, had a long recovery after a hospital stay for substantial injuries and recently had pretty extensive surgery for cancer on her front shoulder -- and oh, she is 11 years old and has had 30 live puppies so I am simply thrilled at how well both her recoveries have gone and that I still have my Towhee girl



https://youtu.be/UmsmVwrwGxc
 

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where the tails wag
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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
In talking with my new (additional) agility instructor, she focuses mostly on the white spaces ie; handling. Frequently not even setting out actual obstacles. She also teaches canine fitness etc


There are times when I wonder at Aedan's movement and since his hips came back as Excellent while his elbows are normal, I am thinking it could be habitual but it could also be that hikes etc are not enough conditioning for him.


Long way around saying I pulled out my Control Unleashed set last night and watched the mat work sections and the Look at That segments -- this would set both Aedan & Finch up for her style of teaching as well as perhaps give Aedan an alternate 'safe' space while around a lot of activity & dogs; he has been attacked (absolutely unprovoked) by a snaky malinois from behind and I think that has made him hyper aware of certain types of dogs . Mat work may also help him with that :)



So no actual dog training yesterday just training for me (I have never done mat work).


BTW Aedan has lovely circles, flys etc --- just a way of walking at heel that gives me pause -- core conditioning is one of the things up for at least him.

So I guess my plan for perfecting fronts will be back burnered. Honestly I might well be kind of relieved, I just find front & finish drills monotonous and even with games they seem... well .... boring. I did do them with my 1st dog when he was a single dog, I had more time and was interested to see how close I could get to a 200 so there was a challenge for me! I got close, very close, but man those people who can consistently nail their F&F are truly dedicated!
 

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Maegan
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I’ve been doing a lot of thinking as a result of the conversation on the other thread and I think I’ve decided to take a break from Rally for awhile with Rocket and work on Obedience. The great think about Rally is that I can still work on those moves while working on Obedience. The side-stepping fronts in Master are a great way to work on straight fronts in general. If we can get good enough at attention heeling by this fall, then we will go for his CD (if not, we will wait until next year). I’m going to switch philosophies a bit I think: instead of Rocket being a Rally dog doing Obedience, I’d like for him to be an Obedience dog doing Rally. I think we will finally be able to get those 100s that we’ve been chasing.
 

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where the tails wag
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Discussion Starter #19
When Rally was first introduced, it used what we used to call doodles -- the little games and drills that perfected heeling, fronts & finishes.


Rally has evolved to be a sport of its own which now has a lot of freestyle & dancing with your dog type of elements in the higher classes.



I find rally truly beautiful when well done...



You'll do great!






I’ve been doing a lot of thinking as a result of the conversation on the other thread and I think I’ve decided to take a break from Rally for awhile with Rocket and work on Obedience. The great think about Rally is that I can still work on those moves while working on Obedience. The side-stepping fronts in Master are a great way to work on straight fronts in general. If we can get good enough at attention heeling by this fall, then we will go for his CD (if not, we will wait until next year). I’m going to switch philosophies a bit I think: instead of Rocket being a Rally dog doing Obedience, I’d like for him to be an Obedience dog doing Rally. I think we will finally be able to get those 100s that we’ve been chasing.
 

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Maegan
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Thank you so much Sharon! You are always so encouraging! I watched a bunch of Bridget's videos (the free ones on YouTube) of her training her Malinois when she was a puppy, and I think I'm going to try adding in a bunch of the through the legs tricks that she does for motivation and fun. So then our heeling games will involve food, tugging/retrieving, spins, the through the legs tricks, and whatever else I can think of to get this dog (and myself) to love heeling.
 
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